IS4CWN 2013 Berlin SL

Early October, Berlin, the annual International Summit for Community Networks - IS4CWN has as always been very enjoyable, educational and fun. I have attended it now for the second time to present wlan slovenija and my wireless optical system KORUZA, gaining very interesting and positive feedback.

Here is a collection of a few thoughts and projects from the conference, but the list is by no means complete and many others should deserve mentioning as well.

is4cwn2013-01.jpg is4cwn2013-02.jpg is4cwn2013-03.jpg is4cwn2013-04.jpg is4cwn2013-05.jpg is4cwn2013-06.jpg is4cwn2013-07.jpg is4cwn2013-08.jpg is4cwn2013-09.jpg is4cwn2013-10.jpg is4cwn2013-11.jpg is4cwn2013-12.jpg is4cwn2013-13.jpg is4cwn2013-14.jpg is4cwn2013-15.jpg is4cwn2013-16.jpg is4cwn2013-17.jpg is4cwn2013-18.jpg is4cwn2013-19.jpg

I have presented the project KORUZA in an extremely interesting session Tech Showcase: Long Links and wireless optical communication along with Brough Turner speaking on his project of developing a transparent Wi-Fi beam steering-antenna and Jeremy Lakeman presenting the Serval project Mesh Extender. I have built upon my presentation from last year and presented the latest development on Koruza and demonstrated its gigabit wireless operation in real time. All the positive comments have even more encouraged me to continue the work and finish the device soon. At the moment, I am searching for a development grant or some other form of funding that would further support my full time work on the project.

The introductory talk to the conference given by the president of Open Technology Institute Sascha Meinrath gave a very inspirational talk, illustrating how important community networks are for people, the importance of knowledge transfer and why we should keep going. I recommend watching the video once it will be published!

The session Tech Showcase: Data Collection and Performance Evaluation has been one of the most interesting ones, the Berlin Open Wireless Lab (BOWL) has presented their take on building a research platform for community networks along with the ups and downs of design choices. Paul Fuxjaeger presented his findings of using wireless analyzer tool Horst for detecting wireless channel utilization, while Abhinav Narain on the same note presented project BISmark and his work studying the interference of 2.4 GHz signals on wireless performance in homes. wlan slovenija will support his important research by supporting this wireless driver monitoring on our nodes.

This conference has been as well dedicated to the 10 year anniversary of FreiFunk community wireless network in Berlin and around Germany. A very interesting talk has been given by people who have started it, with fun and educational stories of setting up the nodes, various problems and people happily using their network. Not to mention that the whole conference has been held in an underground spacestation c-base that allegedly crashed in Berlin.

One of the tech highlights has been also hack session by Trevor Ellerman presenting UBNT long-range use and his network approach to creating wireless coverage at Burning Man, using a no-config user method. In short, base stations with uplink are set up somewhere in camp using Ubiquiti M5 or M2 equipment running a configuration server and managing the network. Anyone who wants to connect a long distance to it needs a Ubiquiti device, then point it to the tower and press reset. The base tower is using the default SSID, so all factory reset devices auto-join. Because they have default credentials they are auto-configured from the base tower, a splash screen is added so users can later change the password and so on. This is a very very neat way of doing a mass deployment with users requiring no knowledge whatsoever.

To sum up, the conference has been a great success, I have really enjoyed attending. Thank you to the organizers and everyone attending. Can't wait for the next year.